“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” I can’t tell you how many times my mother uttered those words growing up, and most of the time she was right. We often get some skeptics who check out Booktango and ask the questions: “If it’s free, 100% royalties, and non-exclusive rights, what’s the catch? How do you make money?”
These are legitimate questions from a consumer who is shopping around for a DIY publishing platform. But, there is no catch! Booktango was created from a group of forward thinkers who wanted to provide tools for any author to publish themselves. We wanted a platform that empowered authors to invest as much (or as little) into getting their book available on major online retailers.
I want to take a minute to debunk three of the most popular Booktango myths floating the interwebs and give you honest and direct answers.
Myth #1: If I publish with Booktango, I have to give up the rights to my book. False! Our terms and conditions state we have non-exclusive rights to your book, which means you can publish with us and another publisher at the same time. You can also publish with us and have full rights to cancel your book and take it elsewhere if you receive a traditional publishing contract or other offers for rights to your book. In fact, we would be thrilled if one of our authors got their name and story out there and was subsequently picked up traditionally!
Our only caution is most retailers will not allow you to publish the same book through multiple publishers. For example, you can’t have Booktango list your book on Apple and also have Smashwords list your book on Apple.
Myth #2: Booktango has to make money somehow; I bet they are hiding book sales. False! Not only is this a horrible business practice, it is illegal! Every penny reported to us by the online retailers along with every penny you sell on the Booktango bookstore is passed on to you, the author.
Some online retailers, such as Scribd, have the ability to preview an eBook before you buy. The retailer decides how much of your book is available for preview. I recently saw a new release from Booktango that had about 75 views on Scribd almost immediately, but minimal actual sales. The reality is the preview of the book can help or hurt your book. The goal is that the preview is enough to “hook” the buyers, and they will purchase the full book. The flip side is they may read the preview and decide the book is not for them. A high number of views on a retailer doesn’t necessarily translate to high sales. I’m still a believer that the preview helps authors. You can use the views vs. sales to help you. With Booktango you can revise your book at any time. If you want to make the first chapter or introduction more suspenseful or attractive to those previewing it, you can start a resubmission. And, don’t forget to use your marketing text to hook the reader.
Myth #3: Booktango offers paid services too; if I publish with them they will pressure me to buy. False! This one is my favorite myths because it couldn’t be further from the truth. Does Booktango offer paid packages and services? Yes. Are you ever obligated or pressured to buy anything, No! In fact, Booktango doesn’t even have a sales team. Our customer service staff may suggest or make you aware of a service we offer, but their main goal is in their title: Customer Service. They are not commissioned and have no incentive to make sales.
Booktango does make money off our paid packages and services, but we also try to offer services that we feel truly give an author the power to make the choice. My boss uses the perfect analogy: You can mow your yard yourself or you can pay the neighbor kid to mow it for you, but in the end the choice is yours.
Have more myths or questions you’d like me to clear up? Post them in the comments below or message me on Twitter @Cruse_Tony and I would be happy to talk with you!